Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Countdown is on!

Hey Peeps--

I’m such a huge idiot.  All these years, 40 & ½ to be exact, I have been toodling along thinking to myself, “I’m aging as well as can be expected for a fair skinned, thin headed kind of gal”.  This morning I came to a rude awakening, while sitting at the hair dressers, getting a touch up on my roots.  I caught myself looking at my hair lady while she was talking, and noticed my eye lids drooping all the way over my actual eye balls.  How I was even seeing her speak is a mystery to me.  As a youngster, I noticed this  feature in my Grandma Ruby, when she was in her 70’s, so I come by it naturally.  I just thought it might be something that happened later in life, when I don’t care as much about excess skin folds blocking my vision.  Apparently not so. 

The other reason I claim to be an idiot on this gorgeous Saturday in Colorado, is that I thought it might be a good idea to go to Costco.  Really people?  On a Saturday?  Me and all of Westminster were there, and let me tell some of you something you might find a little confrontational.  You aren’t all nice.  You take parking spots and you get pushy in the aisles and you sure like taking your time while getting all the free samples.  And it’s not like I could send Billy, what with him being all “parent of the day” spending three hours at the Nature and Science Museum thing.  But I made it through the experience and that’s what matters, right?

Now I’m home to savor a couple hours of peace and quiet, and enjoy my newly colored roots.  I had to get them done up right as I am graduating in no time.  “From where” you ask?  Don’t mind if I do! From Nursing School!  In 24 days, to be exact.  I KNOW!  Can you even believe it?  I can’t.  For the first time since I started this journey, I really believe I am going to finish it.  There have been so many ups and downs, and times I wasn’t sure I could handle going to another clinical setting where all the nurses were just annoyed with students and the patients seemed like they were about to die.  If I were honest, I’d have to say there were more downs than ups, so ending my final preceptorship on a high note is such a wonderful gift! 

Currently I’m wrapping up my last 105 clinical hours in an actual clinic, rather than a hospital.  I was skeptical at first as previous students told me I’d just be on a phone all day and not get to do much.  But not so!  I’ve gotten to start iv’s, done throat cultures, nasal washes, injections, and a wide assortment of other nursing duties.  I was also nervous about meeting my preceptor…spending that much time one on one can be great, or the opposite of great.  Turns out, it’s been GREAT.  “Rebecca”, I’ll call her, because that’s her name, has been teaching me a lot.  She’s pushed me to try new skills, and always backs me up when I’ve needed some help.  She’s extremely sarcastic, and her dry sense of humor has helped me get through some long days.  I’m so grateful there are people out there willing to teach students, and Rebecca does it on a volunteer basis.  She’s amazing, and an asset to her organization.  I really hope someone recognizes that, besides little ole’ me.

Well, Billy and the kids are about to get home, and the house isn’t going to clean itself.  Even though I’m almost a big fancy nurse, I still have responsibilities around here.  I hate to admit this publically, but it’s been three months since I’ve changed the kids’ bedding.  Does that seem wrong?  On the flip side, I bet they are building up an amazing immune system.   And before I ramble on anymore about the petri dish that is my house, please accept my Happy Wishes for a good Thanksgiving.  As the holidays kick into full speed, I sincerely wish you many blessings and that you and yours are surrounded with laughter, love, and food that wasn’t hard to make.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Busy as a Bowling Alley

Hey Peeps—

Today has been very full, and somewhat productive, thank you.  I’ve had the day off from my preceptorship, so as any good mother would, I volunteered to drive my 7th grade son to go bowling with his PE class first thing this morning.  Wow.  I had no idea my morning would be so full of mouth breathing bowling nerds.  My sweet son Jack brought his buddies to meet me and as soon as they got in my car, I knew I was in trouble.  Jack immediately started tossing leftover Halloween candy to the boys, as I was too cheap to let him buy snacks at the bowling alley.  One boy was allergic to the candy and I think the others were afraid to eat sugar before 9:00 am.  Jack noted the awkwardness, by stating it out loud, as any nerd might do, and so I tried to step in with my “cool mom” schtick.  They did not appreciate my hilarity, nearly as much as I’d hoped.

Once I dropped those guys off, I ran to the store and home before going back to pick up the happy bowlers.  This is a huge feat in itself, and must be noted.  I literally ran two errands in a matter of minutes.  Thank goodness I had on my active wear, as I was very active.  Back at the “lanes” I walked in to gather the boys.  The bowling alley was filled to capacity, which surprised me, because I never knew people really bowled anymore.  Well they do, and if you are a bored woman over 60, who doesn’t mind drinking unflavored coffee out of Styrofoam, I know a great place you might meet some other besties. 

Once we got back in my car, I noted something.  It was more of a lingering presence than anything else.  It was the same smell I noted when walking back in the bowling alley to pick up the boys.  Without meaning to, they had brought the somewhat faint alley odor into my car, and suddenly it was quite strong.  I reminded myself how to mouth breathe, as I’d recently learned the technique during my geriatric clinical rotation in Nursing School.  This helped me concentrate on the road, until Jack noted the time.  We were possibly going to be a minute or two late to their next class.  A palpable hush came over the boys, and I tried to calm them with my mothering skills.  “Don’t worry boys, it’s not like they are going to make you go to detention”.  Jack said, “Mom, yes they will!  We’ll all have lunch detention if we are late”.  I could tell this conversation was going nowhere, so I used the last few minutes to discuss with them what it was like growing up in the 80’s and how awesome it is to have big hair and wear shiny pants.  At this point Jack looked to the backseat and whispered to the boys, “help me”. 

The next big event I participated in today was volunteering in Will’s 2nd grade classroom.  I was looking forward to this, as I’ve heard Mrs. Chang has a calming fountain running in her classroom at all times.  When I walked in the room I greeted Will with a giant smile and an attempt to high five him.  Instead, he nodded his head as he walked past me as quickly as possible.  Mrs. Chang’s assistant had me work on Greek Parthenon cut out’s along with another mother in the teacher’s lounge.  It was delightful catching up with the kids teachers from years gone by as they popped in and out.  At the end of the day I was in his classroom helping wherever I could, often pausing by the fountain.   And also using as much hand sanitizer as possible, without looking like a freak.   

I didn’t work in Faith’s class or even see her at school until the end of the day, but I can’t sign off without mentioning Sunday, when we were asked to share
with our church about why we chose to adopt our daughter Faith.  Normally I’d rather go get a mammogram than get up in front of people and talk, but this was special, and we were thrilled to be able to share our story.  Naturally I choked and my voice sounded like I’d been sucking a helium balloon, but Billy brought it home, and I think in the end people were touched by the way God worked in our lives through adoption.  It’s pretty much the best story I could be a part of, and when God authors something so special, you have to share it, even if public speaking makes you want to throw up. 

Lately I’m keenly aware of God’s blessings in our lives.  He’s been so good to us—we have three kids who remind us how to live.  He’s helped me get this far in nursing school, and He’s given Billy the strength to deal with a crazed wife who never quite knows how to relax.  But somehow we make it through each day, usually laughing and only sometimes crying.  And when it’s time to say goodnight, there’s hugs, kisses, and lots of prayers from thankful hearts.